News

CITC AWARD WINNERS

October 25th, 2018 by John Fitterer

This summer, MACDC announced the Community Investment Tax Credit Awards to celebrate the collective power of community leaders, community developers, and our partners to leverage and to build thriving communities. The awards were presented to three organizations at MACDC's 2018 Convention on Saturday, October 20th. The submission criteria was a 2-3 minute video that highlights a successful program/project that was launched, or expanded with CITC funding.

Here are the three award winners!

ASIAN CDC  |  NEWVUE COMMUNITIES  |  REVITALIZE CDC

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SBTA Funding Restored, $2 Million in Grants Awarded to 40 TA Providers

October 24th, 2018 by David Bryant

 

MACDC salutes the Baker Administration and the Legislature for funding the Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program at $2 million in FY 2019, to ensure that this outstanding network of CDCs, CDFIs and other community-based groups continue helping small businesses grow and thrive in every community. 
 

In early October, The Baker Administration and the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) – the administrator for the SBTA program, announced the awards of $2million in grants to 40 organizations.  The grants range from $10,000 -- $120,000 and will allow these community-based organizations to provide customized management and operational assistance, financial training and lending services to small businesses, resources that are targeted to serving low- to moderate-income communities across the Commonwealth.  (You can learn more about these non-profit organizations and the programs they provide here.) 
 

These grants were made possible thanks to a legislative campaign led by MACDC earlier this year.  In January 2018, MACDC wrote to Governor Baker and legislative leaders to outline our FY 2019 budget priorities and restoring funding for the Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program to at least $2 million was at the top of the list.  (The program had been funded for FY ‘18 at just $750,000, a 62% reduction in two short years). 
 

Our members know we have an obligation to support people of color and people living in poverty as they seek support for building businesses and bringing opportunities to their neighborhoods and towns.  Governor Baker’s FY 2019 budget submission proposed to restore funding for SBTA to $2 million, and the House and Senate leadership affirmed its support throughout the final budget process this summer.

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Automating Membership Renewals with MACDC

October 22nd, 2018 by Stefanie Archer

501Partners recently worked with Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) to streamline their membership program. MACDC is a statewide association with complex programs and needs, as well as a small staff—meaning they have no time to waste on laborious recordkeeping. We helped MACDC move from an onerous manual system tracking memberships to a fully integrated and automated one, using the power of Salesforce, FormAssembly, and Webmerge. Read this inspiring case study!

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Largest New Construction affordable housing development in Cambridge in 40 years, developed by HRI

October 11th, 2018 by Homeowners Rehab

(Rendering of Concord Highlands, a 98-unit affordable housing development in Cambridge. Image from ICON Architecture.)

Concord Highlands celebrated the groundbreaking on Friday October 5th with local and state officials, lenders, and community groups.

Concord Highlands is the largest new construction affordable housing development in the City of Cambridge in 40 years. Located across from Fresh Pond in the Alewife-Cambridge Highlands neighborhood, the development will provide 98 apartments that are affordable to low‐, moderate‐ and middle‐income households for the long term.

Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc. (HRI), the owner/developer of Concord Highlands, has been committed to building and preserving sustainable, affordable housing in Cambridge for over 40 years. This development will provide crucial affordable housing units in an area of Cambridge that is rapidly transforming from an industrial and manufacturing district into a new mixed-use neighborhood of offices, retail, and residential buildings. The Concord Highlands development will link residents and families with local amenities, including transit, schools, businesses, and open space at the Fresh Pond Reservation.

Sixty of the apartments are eligible for households earning up to 60% Area Median Income (AMI), and HRI has committed to setting aside ten of these units to households with incomes at or below 30% AMI. The remaining units are divided into 21 moderate-income units for households earning between 61-80% AMI and 17 middle income units for households earning between 81 100% AMI.

“This is a great project for the City of Cambridge and we are very pleased to play such an important role. We look forward to welcoming the families to their new home," said Peter Daly, Executive Director.

“We are pleased to celebrate with HRI the groundbreaking on the largest new affordable housing development undertaken in Cambridge in almost 40 years. The 98 new affordable units are a direct result of the combined efforts of many stakeholders working collaboratively to meet the housing needs of our community,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “In the last 5 years, City has financed the creation or preservation of more than 600 affordable units, and this year has committed more than $24 million to affordable housing and homeless service efforts," said Chris Cotter, Housing Director of City of Cambridge.

Concord Highlands is aiming for the highest levels of resiliency and sustainability through high quality materials, energy efficient equipment, and a podium-style building structure to meet Enterprise Green Communities and Passive House standards. It also incorporates Active Design principles, facilitating a healthy environment for residents.

To date, Concord Highlands has received major financial support from the City of Cambridge, the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and TD Bank. The development’s broad range of affordability, as well as access to transit, and other community amenities, will greatly expand affordable housing opportunities in this neighborhood. HRI is excited and proud to develop another innovative, high quality affordable housing project that will improve the quality of housing for low-to moderate- income families as well as preserve the diversity of Cambridge residents.

About Homeowners Rehab, Inc.
Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1972. With an initial focus on homeownership, HRI has strived to support mixed‐income communities, rich in ethnic and racial diversity. Over the past 20 years, HRI has shifted its focus from homeownership to include rental properties as a means to create new opportunities for households that cannot compete in Cambridge’s housing market. To date, HRI has developed more than 1,500 units of housing, owns more than 1,337 apartments, and 55,000 square feet of commercial space in Cambridge. For more information about HRI please visit www.homeownersrehab.org.

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Leveraging Arts and Cultural Programming to advance Racial Equity

October 3rd, 2018 by Joe Kriesberg

Reflections of a Learning Journey to Seattle by Joe Kriesberg

 

Last week, I had a special opportunity to participate in a Learning Journey to Seattle, Washington to study their efforts to ensure that people of color have full access to arts and cultural opportunities and to leverage the power of human creativity to drive racial equity.  It was an inspiring and educational trip!

The “Journey” was organized by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) with support from the Barr Foundation and brought 25 civic, government and community leaders to the Pacific Northwest for two action-packed days.  The diverse delegation included the Mayors of Lynn, Salem and Beverly; two state senators; two state representatives; a Boston City Councilor; local officials from suburban and rural communities; and nonprofit leaders from groups like MACDC and MASSCreative.  

Our visit began at the Wing Luke Museum with welcoming remarks from Ken Workman, the great, great, great, great grandson of Chief Seattle.  He reminded us about the people who were here for centuries and whose culture was devastated (but not destroyed) by Europeans. We then heard from city and state leaders about their expansive efforts to ensure that children of color have equal access to a full range of cultural and creative programming throughout their k-12 education, both during the school day and beyond. We learned about an ambitious effort to inventory every cultural space in the city and to create a “dating app” that would allow any “creative” to find space to pursue their craft.  The City and County have innovative funding streams to support these efforts, including a five percent levy on all for-profit entertainment venues (sadly, male professional sports are exempted; a mistake we should not make if we seek to replicate this model in Massachusetts!).  We toured an incredibly ambitious public art project that includes nearly 60 massive murals along a rail corridor south of downtown.  And all of this was on the first day.

On day two, we toured the wonderfully renovated historic Washington Hall where a 17-year-old Jimi Hendrix preformed publicly for the first time and now is home to three community-based organizations that promote the arts.  The Hall is in an historically African American community that has been significantly gentrified, so the programming seeks to affirm and support the remaining African American community and to honor the history of the neighborhood. Seattle is growing even faster than Boston; it is a day-to-day fight to slow displacement, preserve neighborhoods, and retain the historic and cultural assets that make the city special.  Arts and culture are both a potential victim of this process and a tool for fighting back.

Our last visit was with an amazing program called Creative Justice that uses the arts to engage and support court-involved youth.  While their program is having great success with young people, that is not their only mission.  We were told that the goal of Creative Justice is not to change young people, but to change the criminal justice system!

A few lessons really resonated for me.  First, it was clear how much Seattle values the arts for their intrinsic value.  They don’t seek to justify investment in the arts solely because of the jobs, economic impacts, and reduced high school dropout rates, although they certainly achieve those results.  Arts and culture are intrinsic to human experience and everyone should have access to it everywhere.  

It was also hard not to be inspired by the commitment to racial equity. What stood out for me was the fact that they were undeterred by the complexity and uncertainly about what precisely racial equity might mean in different contexts.  One speaker noted that racial equity has never existed in the history of the world – just like a piece of art, or music that has not yet been produced.  He suggested that we view this work as an act of creativity, where we first envision something and then we create it.  Like any creative work, there are no hard definitions, no defined pathways, no absolute right answers, and plenty of trial and error.  We were told to “think big, start small, and go fast” even if we don’t know exactly where we were going.  This is something for me and MACDC to think about as we embark to deepen our own commitment to racial equity.

As if the program itself did not teach me enough about the fight to promote the arts in Seattle, I continued to learn when I was in my Lyft ride going to my sister-in-law’s house (yes, I also had family to visit!).  My driver was a 50+ year old man who plays in three rock bands and drives Lyft to help pay the bills. He had just gone to his first City Council hearing ever to protest the demolition of an historic music hall, which might be replaced with a 44-story condominium development.  Seattle needs more housing desperately, but at what cost? My driver told me that he was a nervous wreck as he waited to testify at a public hearing for the first time in his life.  But he was pleased with himself for speaking up. He’s hopeful the Hall will be saved, but who knows? There are law suits and political battles to come. Either way, he and others are raising their voices and I’m confident that the creative community in Seattle is here to stay!

As I write this essay on my flight home to Boston, I am still thinking about how this work ultimately fits within MACDC’s agenda and what we can contribute to the effort.  How can we leverage the power of the arts to advance our goals for community voice and racial equity? How can arts and culture be part of our efforts to address displacement or promote neighborhood revitalization? I welcome your thoughts as my learning journey continues.

 

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Division of Banks Issues Letter Clarifying Mortgage Loan Originator Licensing Exemptions”

September 25th, 2018 by Don Bianchi

As previously reported in The Notebook, MACDC was successful in its advocacy to include in the final version of the State’s Economic Development legislation the nonprofit exemption from the Mortgage Loan Originators (MLO) licensing requirements. It exempts nonprofits who lend exclusively public money from having to get their employees licensed as MLO.

We have been in contact with the MA Division of Banks about communicating the effect of the new law.  Please see Industry Letter dated September 19, 2018, (which spells out, under the new law, who is exempt from the mortgage licensing provisions). The most relevant provision is titled “Government Instrumentality License Exemption.”  It states that tax-exempt nonprofits for which mortgage activities are exclusively limited to government programs and the use of public funds are considered government instrumentalities.  It goes on to say that Government Instrumentalities are not required to submit an application of exemption.  Finally, it states that mortgage loan originators who work for government instrumentalities are not required to be licensed.

The application for exemption for “Bona fide nonprofit affordable homeownership organizations” was drafted to pertain to Habitat and its affiliates.  It could apply to other organizations as well, but the requirements are very specific.  If you do not qualify for the “public instrumentality” exemption but think you might be able to apply for exemption as a “bona fide nonprofit affordable homeownership organization”, please review the application to see if your lending programs meet the criteria.

If you do not meet the definition of a public instrumentality (for example, if you engage in mortgage lending with private funds) and do not meet the criteria for being a bona fide nonprofit affordable homeownership organizations, then your organization and your employees are required to be licensed.  This is exactly the situation that existed before DOB’s 2017 Industry Letter.

If you have further questions, you should contact Kevin Cuff at DOB.  His contact information is listed at the bottom of the Industry Letter.

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Fundraising Opportunities

September 6th, 2018 by

Funder: The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation Grant Title: Going Beyond Health Care: Addressing Social Determinants Through a Cross-Sector Approach Deadline: 9/20/18 Description:  Going Beyond Health Care:  Addressing Social Determinants Through a Cross-Sector Approach provides an initial one year of planning funding to build the capacity and infrastructure for interdisciplinary teams to coordinate in addressing non-clinical and clinical needs for low-income and vulnerable populations across the age spectrum.  The teams will be led by a social service organization, and include health care and other human service organizations that can collaboratively assist individuals and families.  The goal of the grant is to demonstrate that when supported, these teams can devise a means of coordinating services that leads to: 1) increased health care access and improved health status for clients; 2) stabilization or improvement in social needs; 3) cross-sector collaboration; and 4) development of standardized non-clinical and clinical metrics that measure the effect of their efforts..

 

Funder: The Sasaki Foundation Grant Title: Do You Want to Change the World Deadline: 9/4/18 Description:  If you have ideas on how to tackle climate adaptation, housing or transit inequities, or displacement of residents, apply today for one of our resiliency project awards. If you have ideas on how to tackle climate adaptation, housing or transit inequities, or displacement of residents. We will award up to 4 grants of $15,000 each to winning teams.

Funder: TD Charitable Foundation Grant Title: 2017 Housing for Everyone Grants Description: In 2017, the program will support projects/programs that fall within the theme of Affordable Housing for Single Parent Families. Applications must highlight the ways in which funding will create new or preserve existing units of safe, clean, physically accessible affordable rental housing for families headed by a single individual (parent, grandparent, or guardian). Applications need to include details on access to medical and health services; proximity to schools, employment opportunities, day care centers, shopping, community and transportation services; and adaptability to the changing needs of today's modern families. Through the program, twenty-five organizations within TD Bank's corporate footprint from Maine to Florida will each be awarded a $125,000 grant.

Funder: LISC Boston Grant Title: Capacity Building for Economic Resilience Deadline: 8/4/17 Description: Community-based organizations in Massachusetts with proven success developing both affordable housing and economic opportunity programs are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $50,000.

Funder: Bank of America Grant Title: Economic mobility by addressing community development needs Deadline: 5/8/17 - 6/2/17 Description: We are focused on economic mobility by addressing community developed needs through investments such as affordable housing, community revitalization, arts, and the environment.

Funder: Santander Bank Grant Title: Affordable Housing Deadline: Summer; June 2, 2017, Fall; September 8, 2017 Description: September Supporting a range of affordable housing programs from homelessness prevention to home ownership.

Funder: Santander Bank Grant Title: Financial Education Deadline: Summer; June 2, 2017, Fall; September 8, 2017 Description: Promoting financial education with a focus on helping individuals with basic banking and budgeting, and the transition into the workforce or to college.

Funder: Santander Bank Grant Title: Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization Deadline: Summer; June 2, 2017, Fall; September 8, 2017 Description: Providing assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs that create and maintain jobs in our neighborhoods

 
Funder: National Endowment for the Arts Grant Title: Challenge America Deadline: April 13, 2017 Description: grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations -- those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Eligible: Tax-exempt nonprofits, tribes and government organizations with a three-year history of programming; other restrictions apply. Awards: $10,000 to $50,000
 

Funder: National Endowment for the Arts Grant Title:  Art Works: Creativity Connects Deadline: May 5, 2017  Description: grants support collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors, specifically: Agriculture, Business and Economic Development, Science, Technology, Healthcare, Community Education, Environment, Military, and Transportation. Eligible: Tax-exempt nonprofits, tribes and government organizations with a three-year history of programming; other restrictions apply. Awards: $20,000 to $100,000

 

FunderSantander Bank Deadline: February 17, 2017 Description: Grants will be awarded to eligible 501c3 nonprofits in the following focus areas Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization; Financial Education and Affordable Housing. Awards: $10,000 to $100,000

Funder: Mass Cultural Council Grant Title: Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund Deadline: January 13, 2017 Description: The Cultural Facilities Fund supports capital projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. For more information, including complete eligibility requirements, please visit their website.

Funder: Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation Grant Title: Kuehn Planning Grants Description: The Kuehn Planning Grants of up to $15,000 each will be awarded to organizations for costs associated with affordable housing or economic development projects. There will be a preference for projects undertaken by small, community-based organizations, as well as mixed-use and/or mixed-income projects incorporating historic preservation, projects serving low- and moderate-income artists, supportive housing for vulnerable families and individuals, and smaller scale projects. For more information, including complete eligibility requirements, please visit their website.

Funder: Department of Health and Human Services Grant Title: Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects  Dealine: April 28, 2017 Description: For FY 2017, the Office of Community Services (OCS) will award approximately $9.5 million in CED discretionary grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), OCS seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low-income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low-incomes. For more information, including complete eligibility requirements, please visit their website.

Funder: Department of Health and Human Services Grant Title: Community Economic Development Projects  Dealine: April 28, 2017 Description: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) will award approximately $17.7 million in Community Economic Development (CED) discretionary grant funds to Community Development Corporations (CDC) for well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development for individuals with low-income . CED grants will be made as part of a broader strategy to address objectives such as decreasing dependency on federal programs, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas. CED projects are expected to actively recruit individuals with low-income to fill the positions created by CED-funded development activities, to assist those individuals to successfully hold those jobs and to ensure that the businesses and jobs created remain viable for at least one year after the end of the grant period. CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects, however, short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program as they are designed to be temporary in nature. OCS is encouraging applications from CDCs to target rural areas and underserved areas in states without current projects. Furthermore, OCS is encouraging projects that align with the Promise Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program. For more information, including complete eligibility requirements, please visit their website.

Funder: NeighborWorks and Enterprise Grant Title: Health Outcomes Demonstration  Dealine: Sep. 30, 2016 Description: The demonstration project will enable 20 selected affordable housing and community development organizations (10 NeighborWorks Organizations and 10 Enterprise partner organizations) to complete a health outcome evaluation of one of their projects, programs or set of programs. This is an exciting opportunity to build your organization’s measurement and evaluation capacity, demonstrate the health outcomes of your work and participate in a national cohort demonstrating affordable housing and community development’s contributions to improved health outcomes. For more information, including complete eligibility requirements, please visit the Foundation’s website.

Funder: United Way and Boston College School of Social Work Grant Title: If Challenge Dealine: Sep. 14, 2016 Description: This grant one-time capital expenses that directly enhance a nonprofit organization's ability to serve its clients and achieve its mission. Grants may be used for such purposes as facility improvements, vehicles, equipment purchases, and other non-expendable assets. The Foundation targets this assistance to nonprofit organizations that would otherwise find it difficult, if not impossible, to meet this type of need through their operating budgets. Agencies must have annual operating budgets of approximately $5M or less and serve people in Greater Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn and/or New Bedford. The next application deadline is Wednesday, September 14, 2016. For more information, including complete eligibility requirements, please visit the Foundation’s website.

Funder: The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation Grant Title: Small Capital Grants Program Dealine: Sep. 14, 2016 Description: This grant one-time capital expenses that directly enhance a nonprofit organization's ability to serve its clients and achieve its mission. Grants may be used for such purposes as facility improvements, vehicles, equipment purchases, and other non-expendable assets. The Foundation targets this assistance to nonprofit organizations that would otherwise find it difficult, if not impossible, to meet this type of need through their operating budgets. Agencies must have annual operating budgets of approximately $5M or less and serve people in Greater Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn and/or New Bedford. The next application deadline is Wednesday, September 14, 2016. For more information, including complete eligibility requirements, please visit the Foundation’s website.


Funder: LISC Boston Grant Title: Green Retrofit Initiative Dealine: Aug. 31, 2016 Description: With a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, LISC Boston’s Green Retrofit Initiative will provide two statewide funding opportunities for multifamily affordable housing owners. LISC will offer up to 24 Comprehensive Energy Audits at no cost for multifamily affordable housing projects approaching rehab to help owners achieve deep energy savings and integrate renewable energy technologies.  Applications for these audits are open and will be considered on a rolling basis with audits expected to begin in September. Submit an application ASAP if interested.


Funder: The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Grant Title: Massachusetts Food Venture Program Dealine: Aug. 12, 2016 Description: The grants will support the implementation of projects that increase access to Massachusetts grown, caught, or harvested healthy food and to improve economic opportunities for low to moderate income communities.  Funding through the Massachusetts Food Ventures Program is available through reimbursement grants of up to $250,000. Link: http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/agr/urban/mdar-fy2017-food-ventures-program-rfr.pdf


Funder: TD Charitable Foundation Grant Title: 2016 Housing for Everyone Grants Description: Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded to projects/programs that fall within the theme of Affordable Housing for Single Parent Families. Link: http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/rfps/rfp6816-td-charitable-foundation-invites-applications-for-2016-housing-for-everyone-grants?utm_campaign=rfps%7C2016-07-08&utm_source=pnd&utm_medium=email


Funder: Environmental Protection Agency Grant Title: FY17 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant Deadline: Aug 10, 2016  Description: This notice announces the availability of EPA grant funds under § 104(k)(6) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). EPA isauthorized to fund research, technical assistance and/or training activities that facilitate theinventory of brownfields, site assessments, remediation of brownfields sites, communityinvolvement or site preparation. This request for proposals (RFP) solicits proposals from eligibleentities to conduct research and/or technical assistance activities that culminate in an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup and subsequent reuse. Grant-funded activities must be directed to one or more catalyst, high priority brownfield site(s) located within a specific project area, such as a neighborhood, downtown, business or arts district, a local commercial or industrial corridor, a community waterfront, one or more city blocks, etc. Each recipient that receives a grant under this funding opportunity must develop an area-wide plan for the brownfield(s) within the project area, and include in that plan specific implementation strategies for assessing, cleaning up and reusing the brownfield(s) and related project area revitalization strategies.  Link: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=284511


Funder: TD Charitable Foundation Grant Title: Nonprofit Training Research Fund Description: Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to community-based organizations wishing to send one or more employees to an approved class/course that will enhance their job performance.  Link: https://www.tdbank.com/net/selectstate.aspx?ref=/community/training_resource_fund_guidelines.html


Funder: Funders' Network for Smart Growth, Urban Sustainability Directors Network Deadline: July 25, 2016 Grant Title: Round Nine of Partners for Places Description: Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that creates opportunities for cities and counties in the United States and Canada to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being of all residents. Through these projects, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our urban areas more prosperous, livable, and vibrant. The grant program provides partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Link: http://www.fundersnetwork.org/partnersforplaces


Funder: The National Endowment for the Arts Deadline: Sepember 12, 2016 Grant Title: Our Town Description: The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. This funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place.  


Funder: Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation Deadline: June 17, 2016 Grant Title: Small Business Assistance Grant Program Description: MGCC is seeking proposals for technical assistance and training grants to assist small businesses located in Gateway cities and other underserved communities in Massachusetts. MGCC will accept applications from not-for-profit organizations that currently provide technical assistance and training programs to small businesses and start-ups with an emphasis on underserved businesses and entrepreneurs. These grants are intended to supplement the organization’s current and anticipated funding and not to be the primary funding support. Link: http://www.massgcc.com/

Funder: The Kresge Foundation Grant Title: Harvesting Leading Practices Description: "We seek to learn how and under what conditions creative placemaking contributes to neighborhood revitalization. We are interested in the economic, physical, social and cultural changes associated with creative placemaking and in gathering data about its impact." Link: http://kresge.org/programs/arts-culture/harvesting-leading-practices
 

Funder: Department of Housing and Urban Development Deadline: 4/04/2016 Grant Title:  Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Department's Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Program Description: All housing counseling agencies (including LHCAs, Intermediaries and MSOs) that are directly approved by HUD to participate in the HUD Housing Counseling Program prior to the NOFA issue date and SHFAs are eligible for this NOFA. Housing Counseling agencies that have not received HUD approval but meet the Housing Counseling Program approval criteria at 24 C.F.R. § 214.103 are encouraged to affiliate with a HUD-approved Intermediary or SHFA. Individuals, foreign entities, and sole proprietorship organizations are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.  Link: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=281614
 

Funder: Administration for Children & Families Deadline: 4/27/2016 Grant Title:  Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects Description: The Office of Community Services seeks innovative strategies for increasing healthy food access while achieving sustainable employment and business opportunities for individuals who have low income. Eligible: Community Development Corporations Awards: $100,000 to $800,000 Link:http://tinyurl.com/mmgkh5c


Citizens Bankin partnership with NECN - 2016 Champions in Action Program - $35,000 in unrestricted grants, click here for more information.


The Home Depot Foundation’s (THDF) Veteran Housing Grants Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations for the development and repair of veterans housing. Awards typically range from $100,000 to $500,000.

Eligible Projects

  • New construction, rehab or repair, single family or multifamily, permanent supportive housing or transitional housing.
  • Grants are awarded solely for the physical construction or repair of housing for veterans (hard costs). THDF does not provide funding for soft costs, such as furnishings, rental subsidies, tenant services, etc.
  • Target population of veterans, at or below 80% AMI.
  • Projects in which at least 20% of the units are reserved for veterans.
  • All veterans served are honorably discharged.
  • Project will commence within the next twelve months.
  • THDF grant funding must comprise less than 50% of the total development cost of the project.
  • 75% of the project’s funding sources have been identified at the time of proposal submission.
  • The amount of funding requested does not exceed $25,000 per veteran unit.
  • For multifamily rental projects, proposals requesting above $100,000 must provide evidence of a third party binding agreement that ensures the units are a.) reserved for veterans; b.) occupied by veterans for a minimum of 15 years for rental or 3 years for homeownership ( i.e. project-based HUDVASH, other funder requirement, deed restriction, zoning requirement, etc.).

Eligible Applicants

  • Grants are only awarded to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that have been in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service for at least 5 years.
  • Organizations with a current operating budget of at least $300,000 and audited financial statements from the past three years.
  • Organizations with previous experience developing, and either currently manage or own, veteran specific housing.
  • For rental projects, nonprofit must have a 15+ year ownership stake in the development.

U.S. Conference of Mayors Announces 2016 CommunityWINS Grant Program

  • Wells Fargo Bank and the Wells Fargo Foundation are teaming up with the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) to offer the CommunityWINSSM(Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) Grant Program.
  • CommunityWINSSM will be administered by USCM with the goal of awarding $3 million over three years, to support local nonprofits in promoting long-term economic prosperity and quality of life for their community.
  • Check out the RFP

Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation Targeted Grants - Each year, the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation provides more than $1,500,000 of support in grants to community-based organizations working for progress on a specific issue or set of issues facing our communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, within the Eastern Bank footprint.  Grants to these organizations are referred to as Targeted Grants.  They are intended to support programming that strengthens our communities and enhance the lives of our neighbors in specific and impactful ways.

For 2016, the Targeted Grant category of the Eastern Bank Charitable will be:

Strengthening Families: There is nothing more basic than the family unit. The award winning television series, Modern Family has humorously helped America understand that families come in many different forms. But regardless of the makeup of the family unit, we can all agree that the fundamental essence of a family is a group of people who nurture one another with love and compassion and share a mutual commitment to each other.

And yet, despite our best intention, a myriad of factors can influence a family’s equilibrium. Some factors are political, some are societal, some are geographic, some are medical and some are environmental. All of them can catastrophically impact the family.

For 2016, our Targeted Grant program will support organizations that help build strength in families and work to assist the family in enduring a crisis and regaining their resiliency.

Programs we anticipate to support, but are not limited to, include:

Chronic disease: Programs that address the household environmental causes of disease. Programs that support family members when chronic or terminal disease strikes.
Counseling for families: Support for community counseling programs.
Grandparents Raising Children: Programs that support grandparents raising their children’s children.
Military Families: Programs that support families during deployment. Programs that support the family as their veteran returns to civilian life. Programs that work to help members of the military find meaningful work. Programs that support higher education for veterans.
Opiate addiction: Programs addressing the opiate addiction crisis. Programs offering support and solutions when addiction impacts their family.
Physically- and intellectually-challenged family members: Programs that provide services when a family member is physically- or intellectuallychallenged. Respite programs for family members.
Single Parents: Programs offering support and education for single parent households. 
Undocumented Families:Programs addressing issues related to undocumented family members. This may include programs focusing on the impact of detention and deportation, restrictions on obtaining higher education, and refugee and asylum issues.

For additional information please go to: www.easternbank.com/foundation


Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants - HUD funding for communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing top develop neighborhood transformation plans. Feb 9 deadline.


Gender/Racial/Economic Justice grants - Open Meadows Foundation grants for projects led by and benefiting women in vulnerable communities. Feb 15 deadline for cycle 1.


Veterans Housing Grants - Home Depot Foundation, Feb 27 and June 23 deadlines.


Fund for a Just Society - Unitarian Universalist funding for community organizing to bring about systematic change. Mar 15 and Sept 15 deadlines.


NEA Challenge America - National Endowment for the Arts funding for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development projects. Apr 14 deadline.


Financial Literacy Funding - Discover Foundation. Applications accepted year-round.


Rural Business Enterprise Grant Programs - Department of Agriculture. Supports targeted TA, training, and other assistance for small and emerging private businesses. Rolling deadlines.


Bank of America Charitable Foundation - Workforce development and education, apply Jan 19-Feb 12; Community development, apply Apr 19-May 6; Basic needs, apply July 18-Aug 5.


Thriving Cultures Grants - The Surdna Foundation supports efforts that provide artists with business training and financial resources to be valuable economic assets for their communities. 


Funding and Design Assistance for Rural Communities - The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design helps small towns and rural communities solve design-related challenges, from Main Street revitalization to art-based community development. 


Check out the Robinson + Cole Green Tax Incentive Compendium.


Invest in your organization by investing in your employees' health and well-being!  We are excited to share an opportunity for Massachusetts employers to participate in Working on Wellness, a new comprehensive statewide worksite wellness initiative. The goal of Working on Wellness is to support Massachusetts employers in creating healthy. By developing worksite wellness programs, organizations can promote a culture of health that allows employees to focus on wellness and reduce their risk for chronic health conditions. Your organization may also benefit from worksite wellness programs through lower insurance and workers compensation costs, increased employee productivity, and decreased employee absenteeism. LEARN MORE


ArtPlace America: Call for Proposals - ArtPlace is calling for applications for $10.5 million to fund projects that work with artists and arts organizations help build stronger, healthier communities anywhere in the United States. LEARN MORE


Advancing Accountable Health Communities: A New Funding Opportunity to Spur Clinical and Community Partnerships - The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) recently announced a new $157 million funding opportunity, the Accountable Health Community Model (AHC) to better bridge clinical care and social services. READ MORE


Funder: US Department of Agriculture Deadline: Rolling Description: We currently have a Section 6025 initiative which has set aside funding for regional projects that are part of an established plan. Visit US Agriculture's website


Funder: Health Resources in Action Deadline: Rolling DescriptionInvest in your organization by investing in your employees' health and well-being! New opportunity for Massachusetts employers to participate in Working on Wellness, a comprehensive statewide worksite wellness initiative. The goal of Working on Wellness is to support Massachusetts employers in creating healthy. By developing worksite wellness programs, organizations can promote a culture of health that allows employees to focus on wellness and reduce their risk for chronic health conditions. Your organization may also benefit from worksite wellness programs through lower insurance and workers compensation costs, increased employee productivity, and decreased employee absenteeism. Working on Wellness started accepting applications for their 2nd cohort on January 4th. Visit www.MAWOW.org for more information, to register for an upcoming webinar and to learn how to apply for this exciting new opportunity! 


Funder:  InvestHealth  Deadline:  January 29, 2016  Invest Health Now Accepting Letters of Intent - Invest Health, a pioneering, multi-sector initiative to improve health in mid-sized cities across the country, has released a Call for Proposals. The initiative, a partnership of The Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), will work to fully incorporate health outcomes into community development activity and fundamentally change how we revitalize neighborhoods across the country.


Funder:  Environmental Protection Agency Deadline: 2/12/2016 Grant Title: Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Description: Supports community-based collaborations to develop/implement solutions that address environment and public health issues at the local level. Organizations are encouraged to have a connection between the proposed project activities and applicable neighborhood, local, city or regional land use planning efforts. Eligible: Tribal governments and nonprofits Awards: Up to $120,000 Link: http://tinyurl.com/o5dfqac


Funder: BCBS Massachusetts Foundation Deadline: Rolling Grant Title: Catalyst Fund Description: Examples of supported activities: hiring a grant writer, technology enhancements (AEDs are not eligible), hosting community meetings for stakeholders and constituents, engaging in leadership development opportunities for staff or board members, and marketing or outreach materials. Requests for other types of capacity-building activities will be considered. Eligible: Massachusetts community health centers, clinics, mobile health units, and community-based organizations. Awards: One-year, non-renewable grants of up to $5,000. Link: http://tinyurl.com/lds6boy


Kresge Arts & Culture, Health teams launch food-oriFunder: BCBS Massachusetts Foundation Deadline: Rolling Grant Title: Catalyst Fund Description: Examples of supported activities: hiring a grant writer, technology enhancements (AEDs are not eligible), hosting community meetings for stakeholders and constituents, engaging in leadership development opportunities for staff or board members, and marketing or outreach materials. Requests for other types of capacity-building activities will be considered. Eligible: Massachusetts community health centers, clinics, mobile health units, and community-based organizations. Awards: One-year, non-renewable grants of up to $5,000. Link: http://tinyurl.com/lds6boyented grant opportunity"Fresh, Local & Equitable" initiative seeks to foster economic vitality, cultural expression in low-income communities - Kresge will award up to 20 planning grants of up to $75,000 each in the first quarter of 2016 as part of the initiative. Organizations and collaborations that lead food-oriented development initiatives in economically distressed urban neighborhoods are eligible. Planning grants can last up to 12 months. Recipients will participate in a national learning network and also have the opportunity to apply for implementation grants. Read more


Santander Bank 2015 Financial Education Grant Opportunity - Santander Bank focuses its charitable contributions in four main areas: Housing, Health, Education and Neighborhood / Financial Stability. Santander Bank is making approximately $1 million in funding available focused on improving financial outcomes among low-income adults, with a special focus on young adults age 16- 24, within its footprint. Grants will range from $25,000 to $100,000 for a one year period, with an opportunity to renew funding in 2016. LEARN MORE


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2016 Call for Applications Now Open: Up to 10 winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and have their success stories celebrated and shared broadly to inspire locally-driven change across the nation. Applications will be accepted August 10, 2015 through November 12, 2015 at 3pm ET. Communities should understand they are applying for a prize and not a grant. The Prize recognizes work that has already been accomplished.


Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation Deadline: 11/1/2015 Grant Title: Art & Social Justice Description: Grants to catalyze collective action, promote equality, contribute to advocacy and policy change and develop capacity for greater civic engagement.  The Foundation is also interested in supporting organizations outside of the arts whose programs seek to engage communities through cultural activities.. Eligible: 501c3 nonprofits Awards: $2,500 to $100,000 Link: http://tinyurl.com/qf8bdau


Cultural Facilities Fund Grants Now Available. These funds will allow the Massachusetts Cultural Council and MassDevelopment to support capital projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences that expand access and education; create jobs in construction and cultural tourism; and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Deadlines vary – details at http://tinyurl.com/p8lt4rn


Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation Deadline: 10/15/2015 Grant Title: Small capital Grants Description: Grants support one-time capital expenses that directly enhance a nonprofit organization’s ability to serve its clients and achieve its mission. Examples: facility improvements, vehicles, equipment purchases, and other non-expendable assets. The Foundation targets this assistance to nonprofits that would otherwise find it difficult, if not impossible, to meet this type of need through their operating budgets. Eligible: 501c3 nonprofits with annual budgets of $3M or less. Awards: $5,000 to $50,000 Link: http://tinyurl.com/q5cmnn2


Bank of America Foundation Deadline: Rolling Funding Focus: Community development, education/workforce development and critical needs. Eligible: 501c3 nonprofits in specific markets Awards: Not specified Link: http://tinyurl.com/nm3ww7q


Nonprofit Finance Fund Deadline: 11/18/2015 Grant Title: Catalyst Fund for Nonprofits Description: The Catalyst Fund is a source of financial and technical advisory support as a catalyst for promising voluntary collaborative ventures and mergers among nonprofit organizations. The Fund is currently focused on supporting Boston area collaborations in the following mission areas:  arts & culture, community development, human services, and youth development. Eligible: 501c3 nonprofits. The boards of all participating nonprofits must be in communication and have passed a resolution identifying their potential partner(s), and the proposed collaborative venture must meet the definition of collaboration noted on the Catalyst Fund website. Awards: Catalyst Fund financial support ("in the tens of thousands of dollars") will be deployed on behalf of participating nonprofits to pay for services delivered by their preferred technical assistance provider. In certain instances, the Catalyst Fund may elect to provide financing directly to the collaborating nonprofits to support the implementation of a formally agreed collaboration. Link: http://tinyurl.com/q54bg3g


Surdna Foundation Deadline: Rolling; Letter of Inquiry  Funding Focus: The Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in US communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies and thriving cultures. We seek to dismantle the structural barriers that limit opportunity for many, helping to create communities that are prosperous, culturally enriching, and sustainable. How to Apply: The Foundation makes both project and general support grant after staff review of Letters of Inquiry. Full proposals are requested by staff and reviewed by the Foundation’s board of directors in March, July, or December. Eligible: 501c3 nonprofits, including fiscal agentsAwards: Not specified Link: http://tinyurl.com/ovf9jrk


CITC NOFA Released by DHCD:  Remaining credits for 2015 will be available to all certified CDCs seeking a first-time credit allocation and any 2015 Community Partner (CDCs only) in receipt of less than the maximum allowable allocation amount in 2015 ($150,000) and seeking additional credits.  DOWNLOAD (Word document). DUE: September 22, 2015


Learn more about the Heart of the Community grant program offered by the Project for Public Spaces.


DEADLINE EXTENDED - 13A Tenant Outreach Program - REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS - Issued by CEDAC

Please be advised that the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) is re-posting the attached RFQ and extending the deadline for responses to 5:00PM EST, September 11, 2015. Please see amended RFQ for an updated timeline of submissions and awards.

The Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) seeks qualified organizations and individuals to provide tenant outreach services for tenants currently residing at expiring use 13A properties. This Tenant Outreach Program (TOP) will provide information to tenants at all expiring use 13A developments. CLICK HERE to learn more (PDF).  


Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announces second round of Working Cities Challenge for Massachusetts cities

Collaborative leaders in eligible Massachusetts cities are invited to form cross-sector teams to compete in the Working Cities Challenge. The Challenge is a competition designed to lead smaller cities in Massachusetts through a rigorous process that builds cross-sector collaboration and leadership to solve issues impacting the lives of low-income residents. The second round features $15,000 design grants for select teams; after a six-month planning period, design grantees may then compete for three-year implementation prizes (amount TBD, but expected to be in the $300-500,0000 range).Teams that wish to apply must express their interest by 9/11/15; applications are due on 9/30/15, and only one per eligible city will be accepted. More details are available at: http://www.bostonfed.org/WorkingCities/Round2.


State Farm Foundation: Grants
State Farm is committed to meeting the needs of our communities by focusing our giving in three areas: Safe Neighbors (safety), Strong Neighborhoods (community development), and Education Excellence (education). Maximum award: varies. Eligibility: US 501c3 nonprofits, Canadian charitable organizations, educational institutions, and government entities. Deadline: October 31, 2015.


TD Charitable Foundation Deadline: 9/4/2015 Grant Title: Housing for Everyone Funding Goals: To create new units focused on the needs of the elderly; including access to medical and health services or programs; proximity to shopping, community and transportation services; and adaptability to the changing needs of aging populations. Eligible: Nonprofits Awards: $100,000 Link: http://tinyurl.com/3ajrcj8


George B. Henderson Foundation Invites Applications for Boston Beautification Projects:  The George B. Henderson Foundation is dedicated solely to the enhancement of the physical appearance of the City of Boston. To that end, the foundation awards grants in support of  projects that improve the visual environment of city parks, streets, buildings, monuments, and architectural and sculptural works. Each project must be visible by the public, preferably from a public way. If funds are expended for work on building interiors, the building must be open to the public a reasonable number of days annually. Priority will be given to projects with the potential for the most significant and lasting enhancement of the physical appearance of the City of Boston.


Funder: Tufts Foundation  Deadline: July 20, 2015 Grant Title: Systems and Best Practices Description: The Tufts Health Plan Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in their work to improve systems and best practices that influence and ultimately result in healthy communities and age-friendly cities. The Foundation will fund activities in Health and Wellness, Workforce Development, Purposeful Engagement, and Field and Capacity Building that will: Improve or build systems to support healthy living with an emphasis on the systems that are serving older adults. Bring organizations together to collaboratively achieve broader impact and change, Scale efforts to address community needs Link: http://tinyurl.com/p6cuhpb


Funder: National Endowment for the Arts Deadline: September 21, 2015 Grant Title: Our Town Description: Supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Our Town 1) arts engagement, cultural planning and design projects that represent the distinct character and quality of their communities; and 2) projects that build knowledge about creative placemaking. Eligible: Governments, higher education and nonprofits Awards: $25,000 to $200,000 Link: http://tinyurl.com/lgttb4w


The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is pleased to announce that it is accepting grant applications for participation in the Fiscal Year 2016 (July 2015 – June 2016) Small Business Assistance Grant Program.  MGCC is seeking proposals for technical assistance and training grants to assist small businesses located in Gateway cities and other underserved communities in Massachusetts.  Grants are subject to state funding. CLICK HERE for RFP.


Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation Deadlines: July 1, 2015 Grant Title: Mid-Size Capital Grants Funding Priorities Funds requested must be for a game-changing physical asset that will permanently enhance an agency’s service delivery potential, either by enabling it to serve significantly more clients, provide new and vitally important services, or improve the quality of its existing programs in deep and lasting ways. Eligible: 501c3 nonprofits that are well-led, can point to significant accomplishments, and have a mission that is clearly aligned with that of the Smith Family Foundation  Awards: $250,000 to $3 million. Link: http://tinyurl.com/q9cdez2


Social Venture Partners is looking for nonprofits wanting to try a different kind of funding relationship. The organizations they fund are ready to take their vital work to the next level and are committed to the hard work of building their organizations. They relish the counsel of SVP Boston and working collaboratively with our Partners.

SVP Offers

•  Its Partners: Skilled volunteers who will help build your organization’s capacity in the areas that will help you reach your full potential.

•  Three years of general operating support, allocated to the areas you determine will best support your organizational development.

•  Tools to assess your organizational capacity – human resources, communications, board governance, financial management, and other systems.

•  A commitment to working in partnership.

Applicants Provide

•  A willingness to share openly what’s holding your organization back. Once the cards are on the table, we can get to work – together.

•  Flexibility and openness to working with SVP Partners who have busy schedules and varied professional backgrounds.

•  A commitment to talking to us when something’s not working for you. That may be uncomfortable, but our best results come from honest relationships.

•  An annual work plan and progress report that outlines the capacity building areas on which you are focused, how they relate to your mission, and what you have achieved at the end of each year.

For Application Instructions, Visit http://tinyurl.com/puh2gnd


Apply now to Small Business Administration's Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME) grant! Community development organizations who are able to provide a 50% match are eligible for up to $250,000 to put towards training, capacity building, and technical assistance programs. Applications will be accepted until June 29, 2015.


Apply now for the Ben & Jerry's Foundation grant for community organizing. This grant provides up to $15,000 to organizations to provide resources to community groups helping to further further social justice and produce sustainable food systems. 


Interested in preserving play spaces? Apply now to the Keen Effect funding opportunity, providing $10,000 to nonprofit organizations with projects dedicated to responsible outdoor participation.  They're receiving applications now and finalists will be announced by September 26, 2015, National Public Lands Day.


Housing and Urban Development is currently offering a total of $3.5 million for up to 60 organizations for their Comprehensive Housing Counseling Program. This funding will go to support agencies with programs providing counsel around housing and homeownership. Apply before May 7th!


Apply by April 30th for the Region One New England Healthy Communities Grant funded by the Environmental Protection Agency!  For this $600,000 grant, three awards will be chosen that increase collaborations with community partners, decrease environmental and health risks, and establish emergency preparedness.


Harvesting Leading Practices is a new grant offered by The Kresge Foundation providing funding for local programs geared towards provided resources and guides for those pursuing creative placemaking in their communities. This grant is available to all non profits not considered private foundations and has an open deadline. READ MORE & APPLY


Apply now for Clipper Ship Foundation grants for up to $20,000 in funding to help poor and sick residents in Boston, Brockton and Lawrence.  These grants are available to 501c3 nonprofits that currently operate with less than $5 million a year and work with children, elders, new immigrant populations, the homeless, people with disabilities or low-income communities.


Boost your grant-seeking capacity for only $75/year (reg. $699/year). MACDC members get full access to GrantStation, an online resource that aids nonprofits in identifying and securing funding sources, and coaches them through the process. Take the free webinar March 20 at 2:00 pm (Eastern Time) to learn how to use GrantStation to identify and secure grants. REGISTER NOW


It's time to apply for the Adams Art Program Grant! This amazing program has provided over $9 million over the past ten years to Massachusetts initiatives dedicated to revitalizing communities, growing creative industries, creating jobs, and increasing engagement in cultural activities. With matched grants, these projects have led to over $38 million in investment to Massachusetts creatives over the past 10 years!
 
Register now for the March 25th Adams Art Program Webinar for more information on how to apply for the grant! Then submit your online application by May 7th for a chance to be selected.

Wells Fargo NEXT Awards are providing funding for CDFIs committed to producing new strategies for  low-income and low-wealth communities. Apply by March 2, 2015 for one of the three NEXT Awards: the NEXT Opportunity Award, the NEXT Seed Capital Award, and the NEXT Seed Capital Award for Savings Innovation!


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is providing funding for their new initiative Spreading Community Accelerators through Learning and Evaluation (SCALE). This initiative would allow collaborative organizations to bring refreshing alternatives to community health awareness. To find out if your organization is eligible, READ MORE. Apply by March 4th!


The Home Depot Foundation is now offering Community Impact Grants to organizations whom heavily rely on volunteers to improve the physical health of those in their communities. These $5000 grants are in the form of Home Depot gift cards which can be used for tools, services or materials. Apply by September 1st!


Haven't heard about HUD’s $76 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant?  Apply by February 9th to support the development work in your neighborhood!


The Walmart Foundation is now providing grants for organizations providing hunger relief or healthy eating programs. This State Giving Program is providing grants on a rolling deadline of May 1st, July 17th, and September 18th.


USDA is now offering funding to connect rural communities with broadband service. Apply for the Community Connect Grant Program before it’s too late!  Applications will be accepted until February 17th.


HUD’s Choice Neighborhood Implementation grants now provide $76 million to qualified neighborhoods. Apply by February 9th!


Is your organization looking to provide skills and guidance to low-income tax payers? If so, the CFED Taxpayer Opportunity Network is looking to provide resources for your programs.


Looking for a grant to promote safe neighborhood work? The Trustees of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is now providing $1 million in grants for work towards violence prevention in eastern Massachusetts.  Apply before March 2nd, 2015!


Apply now for Preservation Massachusetts Predevelopment Loan Fund.  The Predevelopment Loan Fund offers loans between $25,000 and $75,000 for up to 5 recipients per year.  The loan will allow for a new source of predevelopment preservation funding for buildings that are eligible or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. READ MORE


The BUILD Health Challenge is currently offering grants and loans to up to 14 organizations to help foster collaborations for improving health in low-income communities.  These collaborations are specifically for low-income communities in cities with populations greater than 150,000. Apply by January 16, 2015!


The Tufts Health Plan Foundation is now accepting grant applications for activities that aid older adults who are economically and socially at-risk.  Massachusetts and Rhode Island non-profit organizations are eligible for the grant.  Apply before January 20, 2015!


CDCs, Colleges, and other non-profit organizations are now encouraged to participate in the Innovation Mentoring Initiative.  Grantees will receive up to $50,000 to form innovative mentorship opportunities for underserved populations.  Submissions will be accepted on a rolling deadline through June 30, 2016.


Citizens Bank is now offering grants for up to $50,000 to community organizations invested in providing financial readiness courses.  Eligible financial readiness courses encompass the following topics: budgeting, foreclosure prevention, homeownership counseling, credit management, asset building and the basics of banking, and financial management for small businesses.  Applications for these grants are due by January 30, 2015. LEARN MORE


The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, is now offering $20,000 grants for organizations interested in their “Community Financial Empowerment Learning Partnership”. This 18-month program offers community organizations the opportunity to learn more about expanding their services and building capacity in their field. The program runs from April 2015- September 2016, and proposals should be submitted no later than Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 5:00pm PT. LEARN MORE


Liberty Mutual Foundation – 12/22/2015

Funding Priorities: homeless youth and increased coordination. Applicants may find solutions by working across education, workforce development, housing, health care, feeding programs, youth development, arts and culture – or by focusing on a single area. Funder seeks asset-based solutions that empower and nurture youth. Eligible: 501c3 nonprofits located, and providing services, in Boston. Funding: Average grant: $40,000. Link: http://tinyurl.com/kmgc63n


Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund – 2/1/2015 and 7/1/2015

Funding Priorities: health (human and animal), visual arts, land conservation and historic preservation. The Fund also makes grants in support of capital projects. Eligible: 501c3 social service and youth service organizations in Massachusetts only. Funding: Not specified. Link:http://tinyurl.com/mmrm5em


TD Green Streets is a new collaborative program with TD Bank and the Arbor Day Foundation that will provide 10 grants, each $20,000.  These grants will be provided for trees, tree planting, and tree maintenance in low to moderate-income communities.  Opportunity available to current Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA -designated communities.


USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants

$10,000 to $500,000 grants are available for small rural businesses and adult education programs related to employment in rural areas.  Rolling deadline.


Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

Every two years, the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence honors urban places with innovative and well-crafted design.  One $50,000 award and four $10,000 awards will be granted.  Deadline for applications are due by December 9, 2014.


Black Rock Arts Foundation Civic Arts Projects

This funding opportunity provides support for interactive art that is community-driven and collaborative in nature.  This interactive artwork should be open to the public and entice viewers toward action or involvement in the piece.  Funding for these projects ranges anywhere from $500 to $10,000.  Deadline for applications is December 1, 2014.


Artists Engaging in Social Change: Request for Proposals

One to two year funding is now available for projects aiming to use artwork to strengthen and reflect communities.  Both individuals and 501(c)(3) organizations are open to apply.  Deadline for applications is November 12, 2014.


USDA Rural Community Development Initiative

The Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) has over $5,000,000 in funding for intermediary organizations aiming to provide or assist in housing, economic development, and community facilities and developments.  All grant funding must be matched by intermediary organizations.  Deadline for applications is November 12, 2014.


DHCD has issued a NOFA for supportive housing under the Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund (HPSTF):  CLICK HERE to download PDF

  • Please note the timelines are very tight, and that the awards are dependent upon final passage and signing of the supplemental budget.

Health Starts At Home - The deadline for applications is December 12, 2014:

The Boston Foundation (TBF) is holding a grant competition, Health Starts at Home,to bring housing and health related organizations together to address the negative impact that a lack of stable, affordable housing has on children’s health outcomes. Winners of the competition will receive nine month planning grants from TBF to formulate and hone their partnership and proposed program to address health and housing instability in children.


Resident volunteers, neighborhood groups and associations run by volunteers in the Dudley Street Neighborhood are encouraged to apply for the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation Small Grants Fund.  These small grants, totaling up to $5000 per project, allow community volunteers to create education and engagement oriented programs for strengthening families in the Roxbury  and Dorchester community.  Applications are due by October 30th, 2014.


STATE ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS
With plans to spark redevelopment by creating a "critical mass of activities" in certain urban districts, state officials are soliciting nominations from municipal officials and private sector partners in gateway cities. MassDevelopment on Wednesday announced its invitation for development district nominations, saying assistance is available under a Transformative Development Fund created as part of economic development legislation signed in August by Gov. Deval Patrick. Economic development over the years has been slow to come in many former industrial cities in Massachusetts where jobless rates have historically been higher than in the Greater Boston area. In a statement, state Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki said the initiative was "part of our overall strategy to transform these communities into great places to live, work, and play." A related TDI Cowork Grant Program provides up to $2 million in matching grants to for-profit and nonprofit entities that will own, sponsor, or operate collaborative workspaces. Under a pilot program, MassDevelopment is also seeking economic development fellows to work in designated gateway cities.  CLICK  HERE to learn more.


The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund has renewed their Grant for another year!  Overseen by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and MassDevelopment, this grant funds projects towards construction and real estate development.  See more about the application process here.


ArtPlace America is currently accepting Letters of Inquiry for the 2015 round of its National Grants Program.  Since 2011, ArtPlace has contributed $56.8 million to 189 projects across 42 states and the District of Columbia. This year ArtPlace intends to support approximately 40 projects with roughly $10 million. These grants target creative placemaking projects, in which art and culture help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. Any individual or organization within the United States or U.S. Territories is eligible to apply. For more information or to submit an application, please visit www.ArtPlaceAmerica.org/LOI. The submission deadline is November 3rd at 3:59pm EST.


BACH releases new RFP for organizations in Boston.  


Transformative Development Initiative (TDI): Cowork

Collaborative Workspace Grant Program

Growing communities of entrepreneurs in Gateway Cities can now apply for grants for collaborative workspaces from the Transformative Development Fund, which the Commonwealth created through the economic development legislation that Governor Patrick signed into law on August 13. MassDevelopment is rolling out this first component of the Fund as part of the new Transformative Development Initiative (TDI).

The TDI Cowork grant program will provide up to $2 million in matching grants to for-profit and nonprofit entities that will own, sponsor, or operate collaborative workspaces - shared communities that promote innovation, creativity, and interaction - for building improvements, fit-out, and/or procuring equipment that collaborative workspace participants will utilize. This grant program can support the creation of spaces and the expansion of existing ones.

Applicats can apply for two types of grants. Proposals for Fit-out Grants, which MassDevelopment will accept on a rolling basis through January 16, 2015, will apply to construction, improvements, or equipment for new spaces or for existing facility expansions. Seed Feasibility grants will help incubate business plans for promising new spaces. Please see complete program guidelines and eligibility requirements in the RFP.


EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant Program - Sep 22 deadline. Synopsis

Department of Commerce FY 2014 Economic Development Assistance Programs - Oct deadline for funding cycle 1 of FY 2015. EDAP2014. Go to grants.gov.

Economic Development Administration Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance - Department of Commerce. Applications accepted on a continuing basis. EDAPLANNING2012. Go to grants.gov

Fitch Foundation Preservation Grants for Mid-Career Professionals - Oct 15 deadline. Application

Office Depot Foundation Funding - Oct 31 deadline for "Building Capacity to Serve Communities" and "Giving Children Tools for Success" applications. No deadline for "Disaster Preparedness, Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding" grants. Announcement

USDA Rural Community Development Initiative Grants - Nov 12 deadline. Announcement

USDA Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program - Dec 2015 deadline. NOFA

 


Clipper Ship Foundation Grants - Deadline August 8, 2014

The Clipper Ship Foundation makes grants to federally tax-qualified, public charities serving sick and poor residents of the Greater Boston community and the cities of Brockton and Lawrence.  Preference is given to organizations devoted to helping the homeless and under-housed; people in need; children; elders; people with disabilities; new immigrant populations; and low-income communities and neighborhoods. The Clipper Ship Foundation specializes in funding smaller organizations. It considers applications from organizations with annual operating budget of less than $5,000,000.

The Foundation typically awards individual grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, with most grants being between $5,000 to $10,000. All applications must be submitted online, on the Foundation's website. The deadline for the current cycle is August 8th. 


HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants - Deadline August 15, 2014

HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants will support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans that are expected to achieve three core goals: (1) Housing: transform distressed public and assisted housing into energy efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable over the long-term; (2) People: support positive outcomes for families who live in the target development(s) and the surrounding neighborhood, particularly outcomes related to residents’ health, safety, employment, mobility, and education; and (3) Neighborhood: transform distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods into viable, mixed-income neighborhoods with access to well-functioning services, high quality public schools and education programs, high quality early learning programs and services, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs. To achieve these core goals, communities must develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or "Transformation Plan."

HUD expects to make approximately 10 awards, with the maximum grant size equalling no more than $500,000. Eligible organizations include nonprofits, county, city and/or township governments, and public housing associations. More information is available on HUD's website


TD Bank Charitable Foundation's Housing for Everyone - Deadline August 29, 2014

The TD Charitable Foundation's 2014 Housing for Everyone grant competition focuses on Housing for the Future. Applications should highlight the ways in which will encourage the creation or preservation of rental housing units for families with children. Through the program, 25 organizations throughout TD Bank's corporate footprint from Maine to Florida will each be awarded a $100,000 grant in 2014.

Applications will be accepted until 4:00 PM EST on Friday, August 29, 2014. Notification of awards will be made by mid November 2014. Complete grant guidelines are available on TD's website


Cabot Family Charitable Trust - Deadline September 1, 2014

The Cabot Family Charitable Trust supports arts and culture, education and youth development, environment and conservation, health and human services, and civic/public benefit. Grant awards are made in Boston and contiguous communities, as well as to organizations elsewhere in which Cabot family members have philanthropic interest. 

Grant awards range from $5,000-$50,000 for a one-year period. Applicants must begin by submitting a concept paper, using the format found on the Trust website, by September 1st. The trustees will notify applicants by email if further information is needed to complete their consideration of a request. For full application guidelines and the concept paper format, please visit the Trust website.  


Santander Bank Foundation – Deadline September 5, 2014

Santander Bank (formerly Sovereign Bank) Foundation is accepting grant applications for programming that benefits low- and moderate-income communities, primarily for community and economic development, youth and education, health and human services, and arts and culture. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. The April-June funding cycle has now closed, but the July-September funding cycle will accept applications until September 5, 2014, with grant recipients notified by October 31, 2014. Link: http://tinyurl.com/ogozaq6


Assets for Independence for Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) - Deadline October 27, 2014

The Assets for Independence program provides five-year grants to empower low-income families to become economically self-sufficient for the long-term. Participants receive financial education training on money management issues and matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts. Participants can use IDAs to accumulate funds with the goal of acquiring a first home, post-secondary education, or starting up or expanding a small business. Community action agencies do very well with this funding. Faith-based groups also are among recent awardees. 

Governments, public housing authorities, public and private colleges & universities, and nonprofits are eligible to apply. The average grant size is $350K per year for five years. Grants may range from $10,000 to $1,000,000. For more information, click here


EDA: Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Program – Due October 17, 2014

EDA's mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA fulfills this mission through strategic investments and partnerships that create the regional economic ecosystems required to foster globally competitive regions throughout the United States. EDA supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment. Economic Development Assistance programs will make construction, non-construction, and revolving loan fund investments under the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs. Grants made under these programs will leverage regional assets to support the implementation of regional economic development strategies designed to create jobs, leverage private capital, encourage economic development, and strengthen America's ability to compete in the global marketplace. Through the EDAP FFO, EDA solicits applications from rural and urban communities to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions. Eligible: Local, state and tribal governments; nonprofits; higher education. Funding: $100,000 - $3,000,000. Link: http://tinyurl.com/pkhoeb5


National Grid Foundation - Deadline October 31, 2014

The National Grid Foundaiton supports programs that focus on:

  1. Energy and Environment: Reducing the causes and impact of climate change, the promotion of the local environment around National Grid operational sites, the delivery of energy efficiency and alleviating fuel poverty;
  2. Education and Skills: The shortage of skills which are essential to the daily delivery of business operations is a key issue for National Grid. The company's community work focuses on engineering, research and development skills central to its business activities; and 
  3. Community Investment: Programs that directly support National Grid employees and their initiatives in the community and also encompass safety and inclusion & diversity initiatives.

US schools and 501(c)3 nonprofits that work in the Foundation’s focus areas and serve National Grid communities are eligible to apply. Grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000. National Grid has an online application process, which is available on its website. 


Trader Joe's In the Neighborhood Grants: Each store has a Donations Coordinator who handles requests for donations and volunteers. Written requests should be made at least three weeks prior to the date donaion is needed  Eligibility: 501(c)(3) nonprofits Funds: Multiple awards of volunteering and product donations. In 2013, the company donated $260 million worth of product to food banks. Deadline: None/Rolling Link:  http://tinyurl.com/nxvleh6.  


GrantStation Discounted for MACDC Members:

If you are a member of MACDC, you can get access to GrantStation for $75/yr. (regular price $699/yr.)

In order to improve community developers' capacity to identify and secure grants, the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) has negotiated a highly-discounted rate for GrantStation's online grant research and grant writing tool.

Click here to see if you belong to a NACEDA state or regional association. If so, your organization is eligible to have full access to GrantStation for $75 per year. (GrantStation costs $699 when purchased individually.)

GrantStation membership includes:

  • Up-to-date database of thousands of grant makers
  • Search tools to help you find the right funders for your organization
  • Online grant writing tools
  • Strategic planning tools
  • Online grant calendar

Join us for a free webinar for community developers on Tuesday, September 10 from 2-3 pm (Eastern). Learn how to use GrantStation to identify probable funders, check out GrantStation's grant writing, planning, and calendar tools, and find out if GrantStation meets your organization's needs.

Click here to register for the FREE September 10 webinar.

Click here to register for GrantStation at the $75 rate.

This notice announces the availability of EPA grant funds under § 104(k)(6) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). EPA isauthorized to fund research, technical assistance and/or training activities that facilitate theinventory of brownfields, site assessments, remediation of brownfields sites, communityinvolvement or site preparation. This request for proposals (RFP) solicits proposals from eligibleentities to conduct research and/or technical assistance activities that culminate in an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup and subsequent reuse. Grant-funded activities must be directed to one or more catalyst, high priority brownfield site(s) located within a specific project area, such as a neighborhood, downtown, business or arts district, a local commercial or industrial corridor, a community waterfront, one or more city blocks, etc. Each recipient that receives a grant under this funding opportunity must develop an area-wide plan for the brownfield(s) within the project area, and include in that plan specific implementation strategies for assessing, cleaning up and reusing the brownfield(s) and related project area revitalization strategies.
Commenting Closed

Anatomy of a Policy Win-The Mortgage Loan Originator Exemption Legislation

August 14th, 2018 by Don Bianchi

In the early morning hours of August 1, the Massachusetts Legislature’s 2017-2018 Session ended with a flurry of last minute bills.  Among these was an Economic Development Bill that contained a small provision that MACDC had sought: an exemption for employees of certain nonprofits from the requirement to obtain licensing as a mortgage loan originator – a requirement we believe is unnecessary, burdensome, and counter-productive.  While this was not the biggest, or most high-profile policy victory in MACDC history, it is one of which I am very proud because our success reflects on many of MACDC’s core strengths as an organization: strong relationships with and frequent communication with MACDC members; good working relationships with legislators and agency officials; strong collaborations with CHAPA and other allied organizations; and the capacity to do the necessary homework on the issue. 

 

Background: 

The need for the exemption stems from a state law enacted almost a decade ago, the third in a succession of laws (state and federal) aimed to protect consumers from predatory lenders so prevalent before and during the foreclosure crisis.  The commercial mortgage lending industry experienced major changes in the early-to mid-2000s, reflecting what we now look back on as the “housing bubble”: rapid home price appreciation coupled with a proliferation of mortgage lenders and mortgage products, including predatory loans made with complete disregard of borrowers’ ability to repay the loans, which resulted in a massive increase in foreclosures starting in 2006-2007.  MACDC and other affordable housing advocates clamored for a state law to protect consumers that resulted in the 2007 passage of  “An Act Protecting and Preserving Home Ownership” (Chapter 206 of the Acts of 2007), which, among other things, placed non-bank mortgage lenders under the regulation of the MA Division of Banks (DOB).  

In 2008, the U.S. Congress passed The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (S.A.F.E. Act), which requires states to enact legislation requiring licensing of mortgage loan originators (MLOs).  In recognition that administering publicly-funded loans (such as loans for home repair, or for down payment assistance) is very different from lending in a commercial context, the S.A.F.E. Act permits states to exempt employees of “bona fide nonprofits” from the MLO requirements, as detailed in Section 1008.103 of the federal regulations. 

Massachusetts passed a law adopting the S.A.F.E. Act in 2009, under Chapter 44 of the Acts of 2009.  Unfortunately, the Massachusetts legislation enacted to comply with the S.A.F.E. Act did not provide for the exemptions for certain nonprofits permitted under the federal regulations.  

Between 2008 and 2017, CDCs and other nonprofits who administered publicly funded programs relied on a 2008 Opinion Letter by the DOB, which stated that employees of nonprofits who administer exclusively publicly-funded loan programs were exempt from the licensing requirements on the basis that they are acting on behalf of government entities. In June 2017, however, the DOB issued an “Industry Letter," which stated that the 2009 MA legislation altered the regulatory requirements and that, in fact, as of July 31, 2009, any person who meets the definition of a MLO must be licensed as such, even if he, or she is employed by a nonprofit entity that is exempt from licensing.  In its letter, DOB acknowledged there was confusion with regard to the 2009 law and said that it would take no enforcement action on this until December 31, 2017, at which time those engaging in mortgage lending activity must be licensed. 

The process and the cost for an individual to obtain a license are significant.  They must pay a fee, receive at least 20 hours of pre-licensing education, pass a written test, and submit fingerprints for a criminal background check, among other requirements.  The costs to the individual (or to the nonprofit which employs them) for initial licensing is more than $1,000.  In addition, the employee must take annual continuing education courses.  If a licensed MLO person leaves the employ of the nonprofit, the new person hired must also be licensed.  Beyond being unnecessary and burdensome, the pre-licensing and continuing education provided to mortgage loan originators, if applied to employees of the nonprofits administering public programs, will likely come at the expense of learning the skills necessary to effectively and efficiently administer these public programs. 

The MLO education is tailored to ensuring that a commercial mortgage lender is trained on the various aspects of commercial lending: federal laws on topics including required disclosures and definitions of high-cost mortgages; understanding the wide variety of mortgage products, including subprime lending; ethical issues including redlining and predatory lending; and many other topics intended to provide profit-motivated mortgage lenders, whose employees are typically compensated based on the number of loans they make, with the legal and ethical standards they are required to follow.  In contrast, the lending programs administered by tax-exempt nonprofits on behalf of a municipality, for example, typically have loan terms and guidelines established by the public sector.  The loans are made with a charitable purpose; loan terms are favorable to the borrower, frequently at no interest, with repayment deferred until the home is sold or refinanced; and the compensation for the nonprofit is established by the municipality.

 

The Effort to Obtain the Exemption for Certain Nonprofits: 

Therefore, CDCs and other nonprofits administering publicly funded loans faced the prospect of embarking upon the costly and time-consuming process of obtaining MLO licenses for their employees, who were engaged in activity that the federal government had acknowledged was distinct from commercial lending.  While working to educate its members on the process for obtaining licensing for their employees, MACDC also embarked on a campaign to exempt nonprofits from the licensing requirements, as allowed by the S.A.F.E. Act. In November 2017, MACDC and its allies met with the DOB CommissionerCommissioner McGinnis noted that while existing state law did not provide a nonprofit exemption, he agreed with us that certain nonprofits should be exempt from the MLO licensing requirements and said that DOB would support legislation to provide for an exemptionLater that month, the DOB notified MACDC and others that, in recognition of the concerns that have been raised, DOB would suspend enforcement of the MLO licensing requirements until June 30, 2018. 

In the course of the months that followed, MACDC worked with CHAPA, the Regional Housing Network of MA (RHN), and Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston.  MACDC helped draft legislative language that was ultimately deemed acceptable to the DOB, the Mass Mortgage Bankers Association (MMBA), and our allies.  It would exempt two categories of lenders: bona fide nonprofit homeownership organizations (Habitat and its affiliates), and other tax-exempt nonprofits who lend exclusively public funds.  This second exemption would codify into State Law the exemption expressed in the DOB’s 2008 Opinion Letter.  Some CDCs, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and other nonprofits who lend private money would continue to be subject to the MLO licensing requirements.  Recognizing that stand-alone legislation may not succeed, we were successful in obtaining the Senate’s approval to include the MLO licensing exemption in its version of the Economic Development Bill.  Because it was not included in the House version of the bill, the provision was the subject of negotiation between the House and Senate right up until the last hours of the legislative session.  Fortunately, the exemption provision was included in the final version of the bill and was signed into law by the Governor. 

 

Reasons We Succeeded: 

  • Frequent Communication with MACDC Members: 

MACDC Members called our attention to the June 2017 Industry Letter, and to the challenges it created for their programs and those they serve.  We worked closely with our members on understanding the costs and the process associated with licensing and kept them informed about our efforts to secure legislation to provide an exemption.  When the time came for members to make calls to legislators to advocate for inclusion of the exemption language in the Economic Development legislation, the response from members was overwhelming, with over 50 calls placed to legislators.  

  •  Good Working Relationships with Legislators, Agency Officials, and Allies: 

MACDC and our allies reached out to the DOB in the summer and fall of 2017, culminating in the November meeting with the new DOB Commissioner, where he agreed to work with us on a legislative remedy.  MACDC worked with its allies, the DOB, and the MMBA to come up with legislative language comfortable to all.  We joined forces with Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston, developing a relationship that proved essential in eventual passage of the legislation and establishing the basis for future cooperation.  We utilized, and nurtured, the good working relationships that MACDC, RHN, CHAPA, and Habitat had with legislators to advance legislation which was ultimately adopted. 

  •  Doing our Homework on the Policies in MA and Other States, and on the federal level: 

MACDC and our allies researched the exemptions allowed in the S.A.F.E., existing MA law, and the exemption legislation enacted by other States.  This enabled us to approach our interactions with the DOB, the MA Legislature, our Members, and others with a thorough understanding of why an exemption was reasonable and necessary, legislative language to achieve the exemption, and how to be most effective in our advocacy. 

 

MACDC is grateful to our allies, the DOB and MMBA, and the numerous legislators who supported our efforts.  We are particularly grateful to the following legislators: Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka, and Senate President Emerita Chandler; Representatives Coppinger, Sanchez, Wagner, Peake and Kulik; and Senators Cyr, Eldridge, Lesser and Welch. 

Commenting Closed

State Legislature Wraps Up 2017/18 Session

August 6th, 2018 by Joe Kriesberg

The Massachusetts State Legislature wrapped up the 2017/18 legislative session on July 31 and in the final flurry of activity, there was some good news for community developers and some disappointing news. On July 27, MACDC sent a letter to legislative leaders requesting action on six items.

    Here is how we fared:
  1. The legislature overrode the Governor's Veto of the so-called Chapter 206 money that provides grants to CDCs and others for home-ownership education and foreclosure prevention.   This action fixes the language that defines the program and provides $2.05 million for the line-item, a $500,000 increase over last year.
  2. The legislature enacted language to exempt bona fide nonprofits from the onerous and unnecessary Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) licensing requirements.  This was an issue of great concern to many MACDC members that operate home-ownership programs such as down-payment assistance and lead paint abatement loans.  TO make this happen, we worked closely with our impacted members, CHAPA, Habitat for Humanity, the Division of Banks and the Mass. Mortgage Bankers Association.
  3. The legislature authorized $1.25 million in capital funds for CDFIs that lend to small businesses.  We had hoped to secure $5 million, but this will still provide important capital to many of our members.
  4. The Governor's Housing Choice bill did not pass.  The House and Senate could not agree on a path forward regarding zoning and housing production.  The House wanted to pass the Governor’s bill. The Senate wanted to add some zoning reforms for which we had advocated.  They could not reach an agreement.  This is very disappointing as so many people worked so hard over the past two years to enact meaningful housing production and zoning reform.
  5. Legislation to enable the creation of Community Benefit Districts also did not pass.  MACDC has worked with the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance for four years to get this bill enacted so this too was disappointing.  
  6. The Legislature did not act on the Governor's Supplemental Budget request which included $10 million in CPA matching funds.  That could still be done in informal session later this year.

The Legislature also adopted strong legislation to regulate and tax Short Term Rentals, like Airbnb.  We are urging the Governor to sign this into law. The legislature also created an economic mobility commission that will look at best practices for helping affordable housing residents gain economic stability.

Considering that MACDC had already won our three top policy priorities for the year we are very pleased with what has been accomplished over the past two years (the Community Investment Tax Credit legislation, the Affordable Housing Bond Bill and restored funding for the Small Business Technical Assistance program).

MACDC is thankful to our members for the calls, emails, and visits that they made to advocate for this agenda.  We are grateful to have so many amazing partners like CHAPA, the Mass. Smart Growth Alliance, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council with whom we work closely.  And, of course, we have many friends in the House and Senate – far too many to list here – that do the hard work inside the building to turn good ideas into law.

Commenting Closed

MACDC Members Awarded Rental Round Awards for 9 Projects

August 1st, 2018 by Don Bianchi

On July 25, Governor Baker announced the award of $57 million in subsidy funding as well as state and federal housing tax credits that will generate more than $240 million in subsidized private equity.  When completed, these 19 projects will create or preserve 1,463 units, including 1,312 affordable units, with 227 of these affordable units reserved for households earning less than 30% of area median income. 

 

MACDC Members were well represented among the awardees, with 9 receiving awards, resulting in the creation or preservation of 463 units, including 430 affordable units: 

  • Jamaica Plain NDC will build 44 new affordable units at 25 Amory Street near the Jackson Square MBTA Station in Jamaica Plain;
  • Codman Square NDC’s Four Corners project will provide 31 newly-constructed affordable units of transit-oriented development in Dorchester;
  • NeighborWorks Southern Mass will construct 48 units of family housing, including 30 affordable units and 18 units for families with incomes up to 110% of area median income, at its transit-oriented Downtown Brockton project;
  • A 62-unit senior project, including 57 affordable units, will be constructed by Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly at 370 Harvard Street in Brookline;
  • Just-a-Start will combine preservation of existing affordable units along with newly constructed units, at Squirrelwood in Cambridge, and thereby provide 88 units, 78 of them affordable.
  • The Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development will construct 58 units of affordable senior housing at Shirley Commons on the Fort Devens site;
  • Bentley Apartments in Great Barrington, developed by CDC of South Berkshire, will provide 45 newly constructed affordable units for families;
  • Valley CDC will blend preservation and construction at the Sergeant House Expansion in Northampton, and provide 31 affordable units, along with supportive services for residents who need them;
  • B’nai B’rith Housing will construct 56 affordable units for seniors at Coolidge at Sudbury. 

 

These projects will meet critical housing needs in communities across the Commonwealth.  MACDC will continue to advocate for other policies that support providing a wide range of affordable housing opportunities to families in the Commonwealth. 

Commenting Closed

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